Dear Readers: Here is this week’s SOUND OFF, about stores’ operation hours:

“My Sound Off is that more stores are opening later in the day, it seems. Stores used to open at 9 a.m.; now it’s 10 a.m. I am sure they are doing it to save money. If they open later, they don’t have to pay employees for that hour. But this is really frustrating for many of us. People who work now have to wait until after work, when traffic is bad, to run some errands. I know it has deterred me a time or two from buying something. -- A Reader in Texas”

Who knows what the reason is? I’d love to hear from retailers. Is it cost? Cutting back on hours? What about your thoughts, readers? Let me know, and I’ll print as many responses as I can. -- Heloise



P.O. Box 795000

San Antonio, TX 78279-5000

Fax: 1-210-HELOISE



Dear Readers: Here are other uses for plastic laundry scoops:

* Hold a small amount of paint instead of a whole can.

* Dig holes for planting.

* As an easy scoop for birdseed or pet food.

* Use to measure fertilizer for plants.

* As a finger-paint dish for kids.

-- Heloise


Dear Readers: Here are just two responses regarding the Sound Off that ran about businesses unlocking only one of their double doors:

M.C., via e-mail, wrote: “Grab the door with the lock on it. It will always be the one unlocked.” (Heloise here: I’ve seen soooo many different ones. But this is worth a try!)

David C., via e-mail, wrote: “I am a former certified building inspector. The building and fire codes require that both doors must be unlocked during business hours. The customer should notify the local building department or fire inspector and say that one of the doors is kept locked. Whenever I notified businesses of this, they were unaware of the code requirements.”

David, thank you! Readers, I talked with a multitude of smaller retailers about this, and most really did not have a solid answer, except “That’s the way we have done it.” Better check out what the code is in your area, because you want your customers to be safe! -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I love scarves and have a number of colorful, long, wide ones. I decided to hang them in my closet. I purchased inexpensive shower-curtain rings and attached them to a sturdy hanger. By threading each scarf through a ring, I was able to store up to 12 on a hanger. To keep them free of dust, I keep the hanger in a clear plastic suit bag. -- Pam M., via e-mail


Dear Heloise: I was looking for a way to motivate myself to get more exercise. Every morning when my husband leaves for work, he takes me with him. He drops me off a mile or two from our house to walk home. No excuses for not getting my exercise. -- Kelli in San Antonio

Heloise’s column appears six days a week at Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, or e-mail it to

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